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Discussion in 'Model S' started by danp, Dec 28, 2015.
How many Model S's can you spot?
The Best Cars of 2015 - Consumer Reports
Wow! Not a single Japanese car! How they have fallen...
Tesla beats the finest cars the Germans can offer. Impressive.
It's funny how they can give it a 103/100, put it on this list but still not recommend the car.
When it broke CR's scoring system, is when I finally decided it was time. At that point, I had no idea how fast it could be. No idea that it would make my Ferrari feel slow and clunky by comparison. No idea it could drive itself (mostly) with an OTA update a week after delivery. Hook, line, and sinker.
Seems a bit petty to complain about a #1 AND #2 finish, but the number of minor errors in those two short paragraphs was surprising.
To be fair, CR just have a long standing rule that recommended cars must have at least average reliability. So a car can score very high in their review (comprehensive professional review and testing of the car performance, practicality, fuel economy, safety, etc, etc...), as well as customer satisfaction survey, and yet not be a recommended car based on the statistical evaluation of the reliability data that is based on the annual surveys returned by CR members.
A car also can score very high on reliability, but not be recommended because of the low owners satisfaction and sub-par comprehensive professional review/testing.
The thing that should be kept in mind is that the three metrics produced by consumer reports - a score based on comprehensive professional review and testing, a score based on consumer satisfaction review, and a reliability score - are totally independent and designed to evaluate different aspects of a car. The overall CR recommendation of a car is based on the criteria that includes certain combination of these three metrics.
Reliability numbers for the Model S have got to be very poor. Young company, still learning. The number of drive train failures is epic. So far they are doing right by their customers, but they have to get their quality under control
Could have been thrice if they had tested more configurations. [emoji14]
Let's not overdramatize. The reliability of Model S is below average. I would reserve wording such as "very poor", "epic" for markedly different situations.
Tesla needs to improve their reliability, but they are doing OK for a young company, and, most importantly, the company that is breaking a lot of rules held as absolute, producing cars with the unparalleled level of innovation and technology. Let's not forget this fact. The truth is that there is a tradeoff between the level of innovation and technological advancement and overall level of performance on one hand and reliability on another. They could have chosen safer, slower rate of innovation, produced a car with a lower level of performance and had better reliability - and completely missed the boat, inspiring no passion and "meh" response from the prospective customers. IMO they definitely need an improvement in reliability, but on balance, given the "velocity of innovation", they are doing OK for now. Going forward they need to improve, and they both know this and working on it.
As an instructive data point, to put things in the perspective, let's compare Tesla to CR overall rating runner-up - MB S550 AWD (3rd place after Tesla Model S P85D and 85 ). As seen from the CR ratings summary below S550 is doing much worse that P85D in reliability.
MB S550 AWDModel S P85DRoad Test Score96100Reliability (% worse than average)7143Owner Satisfaction (%)8097
@vgrinshpun, thank you for putting things in perspective. It is rather shocking that the best car Mercedes offers does not measure up to the P85D.
According to the only independent study that I'm aware of, one third of all 2012 Model S had their drive unit replaced at least once, and one quarter of all 2013 Model S.
Show me another car maker that has this kind of failure rate.
It's OK for us to love Tesla. It's not OK for us to be blind to the reality that not everything is perfect with Tesla.
Full disclosure: I had two drive unit replacements in the 18 months of owning my 2013 Model S 60 and one drive unit replacement so far in the almost 10 months of owning my 2015 Model S P85D.
During that time my Model S 60 was at the service center for unscheduled maintenance work 5 times, my Model S P85D 6 times.
This is just like the cultural bias issues with standardized tests. The Tesla is a different thing, with different goals, owners who make their assessments differently. The car doesn't fit the test criteria so it gets bad results. This is as much about the test/criteria as the car.
The car did exceptionally well in the tests. It's taken #1 and #2 spots in the ranking.
The reason why it isn't recommended is it's reliability. That has nothing to do with standardized testing. If every Model 3 needs to go to the shop for unscheduled maintenance 3-5 times a year Tesla will not survive.
Not surprising, Japanese builds the most reliable cars, but not the best on all around cars. Especially most manufactures are doing everything they can to improve the reliability rating, so that shorten the gap between Japanese cars vs the rest.
Dirk, I believe you repeat the mistake of others in calling all drive unit replacements "failures." We have had two replacements to our Dec 2012 Signature with 107,000 kms total (and none to our Jan. 2015 P85D). I both cases, the drive unit was replaced by Tesla at their optiion, both "failed" units were only making slightly to moderately more noise than normal, and absolutely no detectable issue with performance or functionality. Neither replacement inconvenienced us at all and were handled during other routine service.
I fully agree that Tesla needs to fix this problem, but I also believe that it is far from an issue that is mortally serious to the company.
Tesla could replace much less drive units, have better "reliability score" and a bit lower customer satisfaction.
You continue to ignore that many completely fine drive units got replaced just because owner thought he had heard something that should not be heard.
From this POV, repeating the "failure rate" is bordering on FUD.
No ICE engine can live up to this "no-strange-noise" standard, including MB etc. Every and each ICE engine produces funny noises from time to time.
Just because service centers refuse to replace entire ICE engine in such cases, does not make them failure-free.
You both make a very good point. Tesla chose to replace those drive units. They don't get to have both, perfect customer satisfaction and perfect reliability score. But that's what you are saying they should be awarded.
You see? If they didn't choose to replace those units, they might have had lower customer satisfaction. They chose to replace them, they got the higher customer satisfaction, but as a consequence of that action it's only reasonable to ding them on reliability.
I sympathize with the people who would love to see (and portrait) Tesla only in the best possible light. But I think we are doing them a disservice if we do that.
To get back to the topic of the thread - I think CR is doing the right thing. They have Tesla in the #1 and #2 spot of their ranking. But they point out that there is a reliability issue. In order to get the extremely high customer satisfaction, Tesla cannot simply rely on the "as shipped from factory" quality, they have to have service do work afterwards. I was without my P85D for a total of 15 days in order for them to fix all the quality and reliability issues that the car had "as shipped". (and by the way, two of the issues are not fixed to my satisfaction or to what I would consider "reasonable quality standards of a $116k car" - but that's a different topic). The point here is that I consider CR's rating and commentary reasonably accurate.
Fully agree with the bolded part, just do not see how is it applicable to what I posted.
Allow me to reciprocate and offer my opinion on the subject. It is OK to be concerned with the below average reliability of Model S. It's not OK to hyperventilate and dramatize the situation and be blind to the fact that ALL innovative products on the technological cutting edge have lower than average reliability.
As for the "study" referenced in your post, the biased nature of the data used for it was discussed in detail. The only independent, professionally analyzed and reputable data I am familiar with come from Consumer Reports, and as seen from the CR detailed reliability data and legend included below, the rate of the drive unit problems in MS is in low single digit percentage.